Tags: GE | SEC | Review | Paulson

GE Faces SEC Review After Paulson’s Account of Talks

Monday, 19 Apr 2010 08:55 AM

General Electric has disclosed that the Securities and Exchange Commission is examining public statements given by the conglomerate in September 2008 during the financial crisis, GE subsidiary CNBC reports.

"We are fully cooperating with them and are entirely confident our disclosures were accurate," the company said.

The SEC move came after ex-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said in a book he wrote that the firm told him at the peak of the financial crisis it struggled to sell debt, according to Bloomberg.

Paulson says he discussed GE’s problems selling commercial paper with Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Immelt during a phone call on Sept. 8, 2008, and in person on Sept. 15, the day Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy.

“Now here was Jeff telling me that GE was finding it very difficult to sell its commercial paper for any term longer than overnight,” Paulson writes in his book of the Sept. 15 conversation. “The fact that the single-biggest issuer in this $1.8 trillion market was having trouble with its funding was startling.”

GE, however, said in a memo sent to investors the day before Paulson said he spoke with Immelt that its corporate debt programs “remain robust.”

Asked if he agreed with Paulson’s account of the conversations in September 2008, Immelt said he “does not believe they discussed having problems” with GE’s commercial paper.

Though GE’s reported earnings beat Wall Street estimates, the company’s shares fell more than 2 percent to near $19 in early trading on the New York Stock Exchange after the SEC news broke.

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General Electric has disclosed that the Securities and Exchange Commission is examining public statements given by the conglomerate in September 2008 during the financial crisis, GE subsidiary CNBC reports. We are fully cooperating with them and are entirely confident...
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